For as long as I can remember, January has always been the hardest month of the year for me. The phrase “January Blues” comes to mind and it seems to be a combination of dreary grey winter days and the after-holiday quiet. At first it feels peaceful, but quickly slides into a flat emotional phase where creativity is sparse. However, this year I have a saving grace in these Blood Orange & Crème Fraîche Crêpes. Created for my monthly Sugar Rush column, in Feast Magazine’s January issue, they serve as a reminder that the dead of winter isn’t something to simply survive. It can be a time of self-care in simple ways, like making myself crêpes for breakfast. At their best, crêpes are an ultra-light delicacy with lacy edges and decadent fillings. Thanks to the addition of sparkling water, these sweet crêpes are just that; delicate and light as air. Filled with a sweetened crème fraîche and topped with tart blood orange segments and maple syrup, they make for an excellent breakfast that brightens up any dreary winter day.
Helpful Tips For This Recipe
*Allow the batter to rest overnight if possible. It’s a key step to producing a melt-in-your mouth crêpe. The resting period allows the gluten in the batter time to relax and the flour to fully absorb the liquid.
*After allowing the crêpe batter to rest, if any tiny lumps remain simply strain the batter for an ultra-smooth texture.
Blood Orange & Crème Frâiche Crêpes
Makes 12 (8-inch) crêpes
Crème Frâiche Filling
1 cup (226g) crème frâiche
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
In a bowl, whisk together crème fraîche, sugar, and vanilla. Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
1 ½ cups (203g) all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 (143g) large eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (241ml) whole milk
¾ cup (171ml) sparkling water, plus more for thinning batter if needed
Neutral oil, for cooking
Crème frâiche filling
2 blood oranges, supremed or cut into segments
Pure maple syrup
In large bowl, combine flour, salt, and sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, melted butter, vanilla, milk, and sparkling water. Pour egg mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth (tiny lumps in the batter are ok- they’ll dissolve as the batter rests). Cover and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.
Heat an 8-inch crêpe pan over medium heat. Add a small amount of oil to coat the bottom of the pan and then wipe it off, leaving a thin residue in order to prevent crêpes from sticking. Remove crêpe batter from refrigerator and whisk until smooth. If needed, add 1-2 more tablespoons of sparkling water until batter’s consistency is slightly thinner than heavy cream.
Pour about ¼ cup of batter into hot pan and immediately tilt the pan to swirl the batter into an even layer across the bottom. Let the crêpe cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until the bottom is golden brown. Flip (I like to use a large offset spatula) and cook for another 30 seconds. Transfer the crêpe to a plate and repeat the process with the remaining batter. As they are stacked, place a square of parchment paper between each crêpe to prevent sticking.
To serve, spread each crêpe with 1 tablespoon of crème fraîche filling and fold into quarters. Top with blood orange segments, a drizzle of crème fraîche filling, and maple syrup.